Stratospheric Sulfate Aerosol Injection as a Climate Change Mitigation Strategy: Effectiveness and Feasibility
Date of Award
This thesis explores the effectiveness of aerosol injection as a climate change mitigation strategy through the comparison of different models. It explores the general workings of aerosols as well as the climatic effects of volcanic eruptions into the stratosphere. Volcanic eruption data indicates that sulfate aerosols in the stratosphere decrease temperatures globally with a greater impact on the Northern Hemisphere. The paper Impacts, effectiveness and regional inequalities of the GeoMIP G1 to G4 solar radiation management scenarios (Yu et al., 2015) compares the surface air temperature and precipitation changes for different models using the GeoMIP experiment setup. The GeoMIP experiment design creates a standard for geoengineering modeling experiments so that the results can be easily compared with other models. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has a database containing model CCSM4 outputs for GeoMIP experiments G1, G2 and G3S. I compared the surface air temperature and precipitation changes between the climate change and reference climate scenarios from the paper and the NCAR outputs on the global, regional, and grid level. On the global scale, the models agree and show that aerosols are effective in counteracting increased radiative forcing due to increased CO2 concentrations. There is some agreement in results on the regional scale between models but there are many inconsistencies. There are also inconsistencies at the grid level. The analysis concludes that although the evidence suggests the strategy is effective, it is not feasible to implement with the current research because the models do not consistently predict the regional effects.
Cordone, Bethan, "Stratospheric Sulfate Aerosol Injection as a Climate Change Mitigation Strategy: Effectiveness and Feasibility" (2022). Senior Theses. 1575.
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